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Update: F'n Hypocrites

The ConWeb tsk-tsk'ed when John Kerry used the F-word but gives Dick Cheney a pass. Plus: An update on our favorite slanted journalists, pays attention to a critic, hunting for "Hunting of the President" commentary, and more.

By Terry Krepel
Posted 6/30/2004
Updated 7/1/2004

Remember when John Kerry used the F-word in an interview with Rolling Stone last December? The ConWeb put on their blue noses and declared themselves appalled.

WorldNetDaily called its usage part of a "tirade." Dennis Prager, in one WND column, declared it "a cause for concern" because it showed that Democrats have become "a poor defender of our civilization." Prager further elaborated in another WND column that "what Sen. Kerry did frightens me" and that it "clarifies the massive values-differences between the Left and the Right." David Limbaugh sniffed that "crudeness has virtually become a right of passage for Democratic presidential candidates (and presidents)." NewsMax columnist Joan Swirsky said that "Poor Kerry, in a recent magazine article, devolved into using the "F" word toward the president. High anxiety here." A NewsMax "Insider Report" tells us that "Kerry revealed a more accurate meaning of his middle initial" with the usage of that word.

So, the ConWeb should be equally appalled that Vice President Dick Cheney used the F-word in an insult toward Sen. Patrick Leahy on the floor of the Senate, right?

Uh, no.

NewsMax approvingly quotes Cheney as saying "I felt better after I said it ... A lot of my colleagues felt what I said badly needed to be said," followed by, what else, the patented Clinton Equivocation: " And how come the Post didn't report Hillary Clinton's attack on former campaign aide Paul Fray, whom she called a 'f--king Jew bastard'?" Because, as ConWebWatch has previously demonstrated, those who allegedly heard her say it lack a certain credibility, but NewsMax will never tell you that since it spent a lot of time trying to make money off the alleged memoirs of one of them. columnist Rich Galen, meanwhile, blames the victim: "What also is not at issue, but should be, is what kind of weenie Leahy is - or his staff is - to go running around telling people about the Cheney invitation." The only mention of it at WND comes from teen columnist Kyle Williams, who deserves credit for being offended by profanity no matter who uses it: "This leaves us all with a picture of Cheney that looks very fake."

And no mention at all anywhere on the ConWeb of Cheney's previous promises "to change the tone in Washington, to restore a spirit of civility and respect and cooperation."

* * *

Media Matters, the media watchdog Web site started by conservative-turned-liberal David Brock, has the attention of, though CNS treats it with its usual sleight-of-hand bias.

CNS makes sure every reference to Media Matters includes the word "liberal," as in a June 17 story by Susan Jones on Media Matters' attempt to balance or remove the presence of Rush Limbaugh's show on Armed Forces Radio.

Yet, at the same time, nowhere in a June 18 story promoting an initiative by its parent organization, the Media Research Center, to push the idea of "liberal media" will you find the MRC described as conservative.

CNS's Jones also wrote a June 21 article on Media Matters' criticism of a New York Times writer's negative review of Bill Clinton's autobiography -- headlining it "Liberal Website Discredits Clinton Book Reviewer," though one gets the feeling that CNS was so excited that someone was discrediting that conservative bogeyman that it didn't matter that it was a "liberal" doing it. Jones calls Media Matters "one of several liberal groups recently formed to counter the message put out by conservatives, who have long complained about a liberal bias in the establishment media -- especially in the liberal New York Times."

Pretty impressive effort there to work the word "liberal" in twice. Too bad that "liberal New York Times" crack comes off looking silly; Jones apparently liked that review so much that she penned another CNS article the same day about a Times article on how conservatives are reacting to Clinton's book and approvingly quoting from that Times book review.

* * *

Let's check in with a couple of our favorite ConWeb "journalists," shall we?

-- The latest Jon Dougherty Suck-Up Alert: Promoting the conservatives' favorite black guy named Jesse (Peterson, that is) in an article, which quietly glosses over the fact that Peterson's book, "Scam," is published by NewsMax competitor WorldNetDaily.

-- Les Kinsolving lets his bias get in the way of the facts. In a question he asked at a recent White House press briefing -- which wasn't really a question at all but yet another partisan attack -- Kinsolving calls Bill Clinton a "convicted perjurer whose dishonesty under oath required the restoration of honor promised by Gov. Bush." Will Kinsolving give us details of when and where Clinton was "convicted" of "perjury"? Nope -- because it didn't happen.

He goes 0-for-2 by getting his next question that day factually wrong, too. He asserts that "the World War II Memorial's remembrance of Pearl Harbor, which quotes part of President Roosevelt's "Date of Infamy" speech, has deleted its undeniable climax: 'We will go on to the inevitable triumph, so help us God,'" then asks, "Will the president as a dedicated worshiper of God do anything about this deletion of God or not?"

Presumably the answer is no, since as the urban legend-debunking site Snopes demonstrates, there are 77 other words between the section of Roosevelt's speech depicted on the World War II memorial and the sentence "We will go on to the inevitable triumph, so help us God."

Kinsolving really needs to not take his e-mail at face value.

* * *

The new documentary "The Hunting of the President" is thus far meeting with the same stony ConWeb silence that greeted the book it was based on. It could be that they're all too busy attacking "Fahrenheit 9/11," but we may also assume that, like the book version, there aren't any facts that can be attacked.

The only mention of it we've seen to date has been by NewsMax's James Hirsen. Since Hirsen can't challenge the facts, he plays guilt-by-association with producer Harry Thomason: "You may remember that Thomason and wife Linda Bloodworth were chairs of the 1993 Clinton inauguration." Hirsen also helpfully doesn't even refute the press releases about the film that he quotes.

(Full disclosure: ConWebWatch got a screening copy of the movie, which we recommend, if only because the ConWeb, who would be in a position to know the truth, can't find any factual flaws in it.)

* * *

Slow week on the ConWeb, even with Clinton's autobiography and "Fahrenheit 9/11" to denounce? How else to explain two attacks on dead character actor John Randolph in a couple days of each other?

The reason? The usual one -- he was a commie. WorldNetDaily's Joseph Farah bashes him as "this un-American symbol of Hollywood subversion" who "had blood on his hands for being an ardent defender of the Soviet Union and Stalin's crimes against humanity." Two days later, Accuracy in Media's Cliff Kincaid continues the attack, picking up a quote from somewhere else calling Randolph a "Marxist sympathizer, militant anti-American [and] selective pacifist with a disdain for the American blood that flows through his own veins."

All that invective for a guy most moviegoers have never heard of.

* * *

The silliest headline of the week comes to us courtesy of WorldNetDaily: "Porn wins in free-speech Internet battle." Not quite: Free speech won this battle. You'd think as alleged journalists, WND would care about such things.

* * *

Surprise! NewsMax allows one conservative to criticize another for reasons other than not being conservative enough. In a June 18 piece, former Reagan speechwriter Jack Wheeler rips into fellow ex-speechwriter Peggy Noonan for making catty remarks in her Wall Street Journal column about seeing her former colleagues at Reagan's funeral.

"Do you think that President Reagan would think more or less of you for writing what you did, Peggy?" Wheeler writes. "You know the answer. He would be ashamed of you. The knowledge of that shame will stain your soul, Peggy."


(Update: The answer to the question, "Why does NewsMax keep Jack Wheeler around if he's going to bash conservatives?" is answered in a June 30 Washington Times op-ed in which Wheeler says, among many other strange and hateful things, that Bill and Hillary Clinton "have had a pact for decades: He gets to fool around with women, and she gets to fool around with women (plus the occasional man like Vince Foster)." No evidence to back any of this up is offered, of course. And this is a guy who runs a web site that claims to be "the oasis for rational conservatives." If Wheeler is "rational," we'd hate to see what he considers irrational.)

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